Mary G. Garrote of Patchogue is a community advocate dedicated to the empowerment of women and a champion for human rights. Despite the barriers she faced as a woman in the maledominated fashion manufacturing trade, she achieved success and recognition by her colleagues as a trailblazer and visionary.
After attending SUNY at Oneonta and the University of Miami, she built her manufacturing company at the age of 21. Later, as CEO/President of Kmart Corporation’s Apparel Manufacturing Division, Ms. Garrote established the first manufacturing operation owned by a mass merchandiser. With 5,600 workers, and after only five years, the operation produced over 65 million garments annually and distributed to 2,700 stores nationwide.
In 2003, Ms. Garrote was named Director of Development and Community Relations for Girl Scouts of Suffolk County (GSSC). She worked on developing GSSC’s STEM World Discovery Center for Girls, and promotes the Girl Scout mission through strong relationships in the corporate, community and government sectors.
Ms. Garrote is an active member of several chambers of commerce, the board of directors of the Child Care Council, the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Long Island, and on Pronto of Long Island’s advisory board for many years.
A former board member and Chair of the Unity Committee of the Suffolk Community Council, Ms. Garrote worked to bring services and donations to well over 200 day laborers in Brentwood. She was appointed by the Suffolk County Legislature to serve on the Hispanic Advisory Board in 2006. Ms. Garrote is a proud founding member of Patchogue’s Unity Coalition and has worked with Patchogue Village and the New York State Commissioner of Human Rights.
Ms. Garrote has received many honors and awards, including the Town of Brookhaven’s 2010 Community Service and Professional Recognition Award, the 2010 Community Leadership Award from Pronto of Long Island, the 2011 Board Chair’s Award by the Long Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the 2015 Innovator of the Year Award for STEM Innovation and Achievement by GSSC.
The daughter of Italian immigrants, Ms. Garrote lives her life “with intention, love and passion.” She is the proud mother of four bright and accomplished children – Gene, Joseph, Kristin and Lauren – and the proud grandmother of Gabriella.